Mary Blanche Feller, 104, of St. Olaf, passed away Tuesday, May 1, 2018, at the Elkader Care Center. Blanche was born October 24, 1913, in Fayette County, on a farm east of West Union on Highway 56 to Henry and Lilly (Ridgeway) Whitcher. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul Methodist Church in Elgin.
Blanche graduated from Wadena High School in 1931. Following graduation, she attended Pitzi’s Beauty School in Waterloo after which she returned to Wadena to open and operate her own Beauty Salon. Blanche married Forrest “Bill” Feller on May 13, 1933, in a double wedding ceremony with her brother Larry. Three children were born to this union. The couple bought a general store in Wadena in 1936, and sold it in 1944. In 1945, they moved to St. Olaf, where they bought a grocery store, and the following year expanded the business to include a meat processing and locker plant. In the 1960’s, Blanche also sold equities for Waddell and Reed and served as mayor of St. Olaf for a time. In 1974, they closed the business and retired. For several years after retirement, they spent winters in Texas and Hawaii.
Together Blanche and Bill established and serviced the meal site in St. Olaf. Blanche was an avid bridge player and also taught bridge. She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary for 60 plus years, a member of Daughters of the American Revolution and the Friendly Neighbor Club. Her passion was antiques and as a result, she became acquainted with antique auctioneers in several counties. Blanche loved doing ceramics for which she had her own kiln.
Survivors include her children, Virginia “Ginny” (John) DeFries, of Kailua Kona, Hawaii and Robert “Bob” (Kay) Feller of Marion; eight grandchildren; eighteen great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.
Blanche was preceded in death by her husband, Bill on April 27, 1994; daughter, Donna Hillebrand; great-grandson, Austin; great-granddaughter, Angel; five brothers and three sisters.
Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service is assisting the family. Online condolences may be left with www.graufuneralhomes.com
Visitation: 10:00 AM until service time at the Norway Lutheran Church, rural St. Olaf, on Monday, May 7, 2018
Funeral Service: 11:00 AM Monday, May 7, 2018, at Norway Lutheran Church with Rev. Marshall Hahn officiating
Interment: 2:00 PM – West Union Cemetery, West Union, Iowa